10 Things You Need to Know About Physiotherapy
Firstly, what is physiotherapy?
Well, this is the definition provided by the Australian Physiotherapy Association:
Physiotherapists help you get the most out of life. They help you recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility and prevent further injury. They listen to your needs to tailor a treatment specific to your condition.
I like to think of us as movement specialists. We provide services to restore movement, function and ability. Whether it is regaining movement as a result of an injury, returning someone to the sporting field, or rehabilitating them back to work. Physios will work with the individual to reduce pain, regain movement, increase strength, restore function and prevent it from happening again.
So, what are some other facts about physiotherapy you might not know?
- We are primary practitioners. That means we are the first point of care. You do not need a referral to see a physio. Many people see a physio first before they see their GP to work out what can be done and to help it and stop it coming back. We can assess and diagnose the issue, determine a plan for treatment and timeframe, and then treat appropriately. We can refer on to doctors and specialists when required.
- We do both hands-on and hands-off treatment. That means we use a wide range of manual therapy techniques like mobilisation, manipulation and massage. As well, we focus on exercise to regain functional movement. We use gym equipment to get you strong, and Pilates equipment to help make your core stable.
- We treat a wide variety of conditions. We don’t just rehabilitate sprained ankles or back pain; physio can also help with vertigo to help prevent dizziness. We also address jaw pain, neck pain and headaches, arthritis, scoliosis, women’s and men’s pelvic health. We also work with surgeons to help recover after surgery, and that is just in the musculoskeletal area. Physios also work in other areas of health- neurological, cardiorespiratory, paediatric, gerontology, disability, the emergency department, and even with animals.
- We focus on the goals you want to achieve. We don’t just focus on the injury or pain; we aim to get you back to doing what you want to do. Whether it is returning to the football field or playing on the ground with the grandkids, the motivation is to Get Better, Stay Better and Be Better.
- We help you to help yourself. One of our key focusses is to help you develop self-management strategies so you can take control of your problem. Whether it is developing a strength program or showing you ways to prevent it aggravating, we aim to make you self-managed.
- We will give you homework to do, a home program to regain movement, strength and function. We believe that you taking a lead role in the rehabilitation is vital for managing your condition, both in the short term and in the long term for prevention.
- We aim to prevent injury re-occurring. It is not just the quick fix that is our focus; we strive for long term optimal health. Prevention is the key; we work with each client to develop ways to continue to manage the problem and prevent it from returning.
- We help educate about pain and the things that contribute to pain. Pain education is critical in the management of people suffering from persistent pain. Knowledge about what pain is and the many different factors that can contribute to the pain experience is hugely important.
- We can refer you for x-rays and MRIs. We may organise scans straight away to help confirm a diagnosis, or we may wait to see how the treatment progresses before opting for imaging.
- Physios are always learning. Maintaining our skills and knowledge is critical in the ever-changing modern physio practice. So, keeping up to date with the latest research and new approaches to rehabilitation is very important. Whether it is with internal training and development or external courses we are always learning.
We love what we do. We are passionate about everything physio and health. There is nothing more satisfying for us than to see our clients achieve the goals they set. Physiotherapy is genuinely the most satisfying job ever.
So, there are a few things that you may or may not have known about physiotherapy.
Tom Hindhaugh, Sr Physiotherapist & Director, Back In Motion Bayswater
With over 25 years of experience in private practice, Tom developed many skills while working in several orthopaedic and rehabilitation hospitals including working in the UK. Tom started at Bayswater Physiotherapy Centre in 1997, working hard building up a loyal caseload of clients from the local area (many of whom he still sees regularly today). Tom took over the practice in 2001 and expanded into the now current location in the Wantirna Mall. At the same time, the practice joined the Back In Motion Health Group.
Tom has a keen interest in managing people with complex and chronic pain injuries. Tom is passionate about focussing on the whole person, not just the injury, and emphasises self-management strategies to help achieve their health goals.
Tom is currently the President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association Victorian Branch Council and is a committee member of the Physiotherapy Business Group.